A number of colleges and universities offer online training programs for med techs that result in certificates, associate's and bachelor's degrees in medical or clinical laboratory science, medical laboratory technology or a related discipline. Due to the intensive, hands-on nature of the field, these programs are typically offered in hybrid format, which combines online didactic coursework and practical, in-person lab experiences. Students should look for programs that are fully accredited for certification purposes. Some programs will require students to be or have been employed in a medical lab. Bachelor's programs in this field will often require students to have already earned an associate's degree accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).
Associate of Applied Science in Medical Laboratory Technology
In an online associate's med tech program, students learn about immunohematology, microbiology, hematology and chemistry. The program may focus on scientific and mathematical concepts.
Many of these programs require students to be already working in a medical lab setting prior to enrollment. They then complete the practical portions of their programs at their place of employment. Programs typically take roughly two years to complete.
- Collection of body fluids, blood and tissues
- Testing and reporting procedures
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Bachelor of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science
An online med tech bachelor's program may require applicants to have completed an NAACLS-accredited associate's degree program and be a working certified medical or clinical laboratory technician. Programs may take up to four years to complete, depending on school.
- Clinical parasitology
- Clinical hemostasis
- Hematology and Microbiology
- Laboratory operations
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), not all states and employers require medical laboratory technicians and technologists to be certified; however, employers may prefer to hire certified workers. Certification involves meeting certain criteria and passing an examination.
Individuals who complete a med tech associate's degree program may wish to seek the Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) certification offered by the American Medical Technologists (AMT). Those who complete a med tech bachelor's program may pursue the Medical Technologist (MT) certification offered by the AMT. Depending on their specific degree, graduates of bachelor's programs may also be eligible for the Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) credential administered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
Because both associate's degree programs in medical laboratory technology and bachelor's degree programs in clinical laboratory science may require that students either have medical lab working experience or currently be working in a lab, pursuing a degree in this field online may be quite convenient as it will accommodate working schedules.